Bootleggers Café Reaches Enticing Eight in Statewide Culinary Challenge

(March 12, 2015)

The restaurant’s Double Smoked Fatty is up against other entrées from throughout the state.

Bootleggers Café is the only restaurant in the Roanoke Valley region to reach Enticing Eight status in the 2015 Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Challenge.

The current bracket has the downtown Rocky Mount restaurant and its Double Smoked Fatty pitted against The White Dog Bistro and its Island Clams “Espagnole” from the Chesapeake Bay region.

Initially among the slate of 32 statewide competitors, Bootleggers Café has survived two rounds of public voting that resulted in a top 16 bracket and now the top eight. Owner Bryan Hochstein is now hoping to make the Final Four cut.

“We’re excited that such a unique dish is so popular,” he said. “Getting to the Enticing Eight is great, but we’re hoping to put Franklin County on the culinary map by getting to the Final Four.”

The restaurant’s Double Smoked Fatty features local ground beef, pork and veal wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and stuffed with house smoked pulled pork, cheddar and jack cheeses, onions and homemade pickled peppers. It’s then finished with tomato gravy over smashed potatoes and petite green beans.

Presented by Virginia Tourism Corporation, restaurants, locals and visitors submitted more than 100 nominations for the annual contest in February. Competing entrées had to have a strong Virginia influence or utilize local ingredients, and must also be on the menu at a restaurant in Virginia.

Now, throughout March, the public is encouraged to vote online for their favorite entrées in a series of bracket-style voting challenges to help determine the overall champion. Anyone can vote once daily from any device, with no login required. Voting for the top eight began March 11 and will end on March 16 at 5 p.m.

To vote for Bootleggers Café and follow the competition, visit For more about Bootleggers Café, visit